[Warbow] ELB V WB

Craftsman

New member
What is the essential difference between an English Long Bow and the War Bow?

I have the idea in my head that the WB is a 'self' bow, whereas the ELB can be laminated but surely that is a modern 'rules' interpretation?
 


Del the Cat

Well-known member
IMO a warbow is a self bow over about 70- 80# full compass tiller
An ELB is usually taken to be a Victorian concoction of laminated construction with a more elliptical tiller (stiffer centre section) and fancy horn nocks.
Any detailed 'deffinition' is usually pedantic nosnsense for the sake of rules (like the insistence on horn nocks by some societeies).
There is also room for plenty of crossover, like the Yew bows I make tend to be ing the 50-60# range but are generally tillered full compass and would be considered ELBs.
The "no less than 5/8 depth to width ratio" 'rule' is actually pretty sensible, as to contravene it would be fairly difficult for anything that still looked like a ELB (or warbow)
Del
 


WillS

New member
I've always thought the best definition of a warbow is a bow that can propel a genuine medieval battle arrow a reasonable distance, with enough force to penetrate or do significant damage to an armoured opponent.

If in doubt, make up a 1/2" poplar arrow, with a hand forged bodkin and 7" feathers, bound with silk or linen and see how your bow deals with it. If it flops away from the bow with no real purpose, the bow probably isn't a warbow. If the arrow flies off with serious force and you have to trudge through the mud for 200-300 yards to get it back, before swearing at the missing bodkin and half a feather pinned to a branch, you've got yourself a warbow!!

As Del said, any real definition or set of boundaries is daft, as although some discovered warbows can all fit into a certain bracket, none of them look like medieval drawings. Also we've found no warbows made of anything other than yew so design aspects are pretty irrelevant when you consider that an ash bow made to the 5/8 rule will suck as a warbow and yet ash was listed as true warbow wood by Ascham.
 


JohnK

Well-known member
IMO a warbow is a self bow over about 70- 80# full compass tiller
An ELB is usually taken to be a Victorian concoction of laminated construction with a more elliptical tiller (stiffer centre section) and fancy horn nocks
Out of curiosity, are horn nocks considered to be not permitted on a modern interpretation of a war bow? I ask because the bows I saw at the Mary Rose museum clearly once had horn nocks.
 


WillS

New member
Other way round :)

Most societies insist that horn nocks have to be used. It was highly unlikely that horn nocks were used on hardwood bows such as ash and elm. The only reason they were put over the tips of yew bows was to protect the soft wood from the string.
 


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